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Book Review: ‘Omens: A Cainsville Novel’ by Kelley Armstrong

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16101040Author Kelley Armstrong has done it again with a new series set in a small creepy town of Cainsville. In Omens, she has moved to another fascinating tale of paranormal circumstance, and riddled it with feeling and eerie happenstance.

Her heroine, 24 year old Olivia Taylor-Jones, has led a fairy tale life. Being the only daughter of a well to do family, she has received an exceptional education, and she has learned how to help those in need. Having never been there herself, she is full of kindness and concern. Engaged to be married to a CEO with political ambitions she is on top of the world. Always a daddy’s girl, her life begins a strange exodus when he dies. Suddenly she finds out she has been adopted, and everything she believes of her life is wrong.

Her real parents are notorious killers, both having received life sentences for murder and she is suddenly no longer the woman she was. As her life begins unraveling around her, she does her best to hide. She has become an instant celebrity, one that does not fit in the mold of the life she had planned. Everywhere she turns she is recognized, and her inability to disappear just keeps the rumors more vicious and profound. Even her (adoptive) mother has distanced herself.

Several incidents occur that lead her to the small town of Cainsville. Here she can hide from the sudden notoriety. Yet the town itself adds a sinister cast to the unfolding drama. When her real mother’s attorney seeks her out, she is immediately distrustful. She finds herself drawing on strange abilities, as she tries to come to terms with her past. An eventful meeting with her real mother entangles her in an investigation into the killings that happened so long ago. Were they really guilty, or were they just an easy answer to a series of macabre murders?

Armstrong has given us a strong protagonist, and filled her with darkness and faded memories of her past. Worried that she carries the genes of convicted killers, she is unsure of her footing. Yet she knows in her heart she is good. The people in the town of Cainsville are kind and very involved, very much busybodies. They love to dabble in everyone’s business. Yet there is something strange going on, and she is blocked at almost every turn as she tries to find out what happened to turn her birth parents into stone cold killers.

If you enjoy strange and spooky happenings, and great mystery with a paranormal twist, you will enjoy Omens. Once I picked up the novel, I found I could not put it down. Armstrong has the ability to make the unbelievable real, and you find yourself uneasy with the feeling.

This would be a marvelous book for a reading group, full of interesting topics for discussion. Armstrong sets the tone for a tale that reels you in and has you looking for more.

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About Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright is an author and blogger in the Northwest.